The Damned Eaves

The young man with blond curls was immortal, an instrument of some ancient, evil force. He’d committed terrible crimes against my family, tried to kill us by bombing a building we were staying in. When we cornered him at last, we beat him until he would have died, had he been mortal. His body was a bruised and broken wreck, yet still he lived.

I found myself in a great, elevated stone temple. The young man’s followers had borne his body inside and laid him on the floor, where he was slowly coming back to life.

The woman tending his wounds was an evil witch, and she said I would be brought to justice as soon as he’d healed himself. Even as she spoke, he staggered to his feet, looking at me with an evil smirk on his swollen, purple face. With the witch’s help, he stumbled over to a stone dais and stood atop, becoming stronger all the time, and gazed down at his disciples. The minions grew still, awaiting his words, some lifting metal goblets of dark red wine.

I knew I had to get out of here before he unleashed them on me. I ran to the window ledge, many stories above the cobbled streets. There was nowhere to run, no way to get down. I looked back in time to see the young man raise his arms and begin to speak in a thundering voice. As his words echoed off the walls, a huge fountain of blood suddenly gushed from his mouth. It covered the floor, spreading rapidly, until the whole chamber was brimming with blood, and still it came flooding out of him. I knew if the lake of blood touched my feet, I would be lost.

Just as the blood came lapping at the window ledge, I leaped, soaring into the air above the town square. I flew away at full speed, but knew I could never reach the open sky, no matter how hard I tried. I looked up and, sure enough, there was the decorative, green and white stone of the eaves, always blocking me from flying free. I flew and flew, trying to get beyond the eaves, knowing it was no use, and every time I looked up, there they were.

But some voice inside told me to just keep going and stop worrying about the goddamned eaves. So I concentrated on flying straight eastward, pouring on the speed, and soon I was beyond the city, racing over fields and farms. Before long, no trace of civilization remained. I’d entered prehistoric times. Soon, there were no mammals at all. I could sense the wrath of the immortal in the West, pursuing me across the sky, across the millennia, gradually fading like a black cloud over the horizon as he lost track of me.

[Whenever I think of traveling backward into the past, I think of going eastward, into the sunrise. Whenever I think of traveling forward into the future, I think of going west, into the night.]

At last, I came to a familiar place. It was full dark except for the millions of stars—huge, bright diamonds in an unpolluted sky. A long, steep gorge ran north to south, and a river raced along the bottom. There were trees and grass, but animals hadn’t even evolved to crawl out onto the land yet. A year before, I’d camped here on the grassy slope leading down to the river, when something evil had been after me. The best way to escape the forces of evil is to travel back in time, because it takes them a long time to figure out what time you went to.

I saw that a man and woman were camping in my spot, along with their two children. Not many people know how to travel backward in time, but those who do can always find a peaceful vacation spot.

I hovered above them in the darkness, trying to decide where to land. It occurred to me that once I stopped thinking about those damned [recurring] eaves, they pretty much ceased to exist.

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